Don't say settlements: Politics on TV, Dec. 3 edition

Talking about the fallout of the Palestinian vote and Justin Trudeau's gun registry comments

Message of the day

“Canada opposes unilateral actions on both sides.”

Hot Topics

  1. The fallout from the UN vote on Palestinian recognition
  2. Liberal leadership race
  3. The final stages of the omnibus budget implementation bill

Questions not answered

  • Why won’t the government use the term “settlements” with regards to criticism of unilateral actions by Israel?

Fallout from the UN Palestinian vote:

Power Play led off with the Arab League Ambassador the US, Mohammed Alhussani Al Sharif, who said that he was shocked by the Canadian government’s position on the vote, and said that the seven years he spent in Canada taught him to be more tolerant and respect for human rights and the rule of law. Al Sharif said that he wonders how Canada can continue to play a role in the peace process after they have taken that position. Al Sharif said that Israel building new settlements violates international law.

On Power & Politics, an MP panel of Deepak Obhrai, Paul Dewar and Dominic LeBlanc weighed in on the response. Obhrai said that the government made it very clear that unilateral action by both parties is unacceptable and won’t enhance the peace process, but refused to use the word “settlements” even when Solomon called him on it. Dewar said that they are against the building of new settlements, and said that everyone should be focused on the peace process. LeBlanc said that the Liberals are also opposed to the settlements, but that they felt the government has been ratcheting up the rhetoric in an unhelpful manner.

The same panel was then on Power Play, where Dewar clarified that the NDP would not have opposed the motion at the UN, LeBlanc said that the “tit for tat” diplomacy currently being engaged in by Israel and the Palestinian Authority wasn’t going to help anyone, and Obhrai continued to repeat his talking points, while calling Dewar “wishy-washy.”

Don Martin followed this up with an interview with former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy, who said that Canada made a choice to be an advocate totally for one side rather than to be a force for diplomacy, and that it remains to be seen if we can use that to moderate Israel’s positions.

Evan Solomon spoke with Palestinian MP and former presidential candidate Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, who said that he expected Canada to be even-handed at the UN. Barghouti said that Israel’s expanding settlements is a unilateral action, and proof as to why the Palestinians needed the recognition at the UN. Barghouti said that the settlement plans are very dangerous because they have crossed the “red line,” which would mean cutting the West Bank into two pieces, making it physically impossible to establish a contiguous Palestinian state.

Liberal leadership:

Power & Politics spoke with Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray, who said that she disagrees with Trudeau that the long-gun registry was a “failure,” and that it was disappointing that the comments came a few days before the anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre. Murray says that her successful tree planting business shows her experience, as does her record as a cabinet minister in BC, which makes her a good fit for what the party needs. On her position of cooperative run-off votes to unite the progressive voters, Murray says it is necessary to avoid another Stephen Harper majority, but she opposes a merger. Murray is also for carbon pricing, and for legalizing marijuana.

P&P’s Power Panel first heard Justin Trudeau’s “clarification” on how the federal long-gun registry failed, where Chris Hall said that it sounds like Trudeau is trying to have two positions on the registry – one for Quebec and one for the rest of Canada. Ian Capstick said that he can’t understand why he didn’t come out with a gun control policy if he didn’t back away from the comments. Tom Flanagan said that he’s not sure why Trudeau is even talking about the issue before he has the leverage of being leader. Amanda Alvaro said she’s not sure why a leadership race isn’t a time to float new ideas.

Power Play’s Strategists Panel of Goldy Hyder, Robin Sears and Jean Lapierre looked at the registry comments, where Lapierre said that Trudeau is going to be considered to be a weather vane because his positions seem to change constantly, and that it’s indicative that Martin Cauchon is now going after him. Sears said that Trudeau talks too much, which is why he gets into so much trouble. Hyder said that Trudeau needs to be clear if he is going to change his mind on an issue, and that the new position is damage control for Alberta.

Power Play’s journalists panel of Susan Delacourt and John Ibbitson also weighed in, where Delacourt said she believes that Trudeau is making it up as he goes along because he didn’t have anything to replace the registry with. Ibbitson said that position is sensible, but Trudeau then contorted his positions and went too far.

Budget Implementation Bill:

Power & Politics hosted an MP panel of James Rajotte, Peggy Nash and Ralph Goodale to speak about the final stages of the budget implementation bill. Nash said that the NDP ensured the amendments were voted on in committee, even if it meant three days of voting. Goodale said that the government has developed a nasty habit of limiting the debate on everything, and that the substance of the legislation doesn’t deal with inequality or economic growth. Rajotte said that everything was going according to normal process, and that they should focus on measures in the bill like a hiring credit.

When P&P’s Power Panel gave their thoughts, Hall said that the NDP hit on a good issue with the Navigable Waters Protection Act in the budget implementation bill. Alvaro said that it made more sense to focus on that one aspect of the bill to make the bill less abstract to the public. Flanagan agreed that it made sense, but added that it won’t matter once the votes happen. Capstick said that the NDP needs to create a record over the next three years that they can run on in the next election.

Worth Noting:

  • CBC’s royal commentator Ciara Hunt said that the Commonwealth countries have all agreed to change their laws to allow for mixed gender succession.
  • On the 15th anniversary of the land mines ban treaty, former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy said that it was example of Canadian leadership, but some countries are still producing land mines.
  • Jean Lapierre said that the government erodes the sincerity of the apology for Residential School by refusing to turn over documents, while Robin Sears said that they were probably warned about being exposed to liability – even though it’s a truth and reconciliation commission.
  • National Inuit leader Terry Audla said that the US proposal to move the protected status on polar bears to Appendix 1 would negatively impact the Inuit, who rely on population management for subsistence and income.
  • Chris McMillan of York University said the Maritime Union is a non-starter if it’s a political union, but economic integration is possible, which he thinks the three Conservative senators are more interested in.

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